Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden claimed that President Trump is the first racist to be elected to the White House during a virtual town hall on Wednesday, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Biden has previously said that Trump stokes racism, but this marks the first time Biden has directly called Trump a racist, the Post notes.

What Biden is saying: “No sitting president has ever done this. Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.”

  • Biden also criticized Trump's preference for calling COVID-19 the "China virus," saying, "the way he deals with people based on the color of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening.”

Reality check:

  • 12 U.S. presidents owned enslaved people at some point during their lives, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.
  • President Woodrow Wilson has been criticized for some of his policies that negatively impacted Black Americans, prompting Princeton University to remove his name from buildings in late June.

Go deeper

Focus group: Michigan swing voters question Biden's ability to lead

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Some swing voters in Warren, Mich., question Joe Biden's ability to lead the country — calling him a "puppet" who's not "mentally capable of being president" — while admitting they haven't paid much attention to his events, platforms or speeches.

Why it matters: President Trump's branding of Biden is defining him with these voters, particularly Trump's insinuations about senility (though the cognitive swipes have gone both ways between these rivals).

Focus group: Pennsylvania swing voters look to shake-up for stability

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some swing voters in Erie, Pa., tell us they're gravitating to Joe Biden — less as a change agent than as a path back to stability, and to restoring the national respect they feel has been lost under President Trump.

The big picture: This was the first time in 16 of our monthly Engagious/Schlesinger swing-voter focus groups that more participants opposed Trump than supported him.

Biden and Obama to talk Trump in new campaign video

Photo via YouTube

Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama sat down in-person to discuss systemic racism, the coronavirus pandemic and President Trump's handling of those issues for a new campaign video that will be released Thursday.

Why it matters: You'll only see more of Obama in the months leading up to the election as he helps sell Biden's pitch to voters that he's better suited than Trump to help the country get past a slew of national crises.